UPDATE: Florida Senate President Joe Negron, calling the allegations “atrocious and horrendous,” ordered an investigation led by the Senate general counsel. Here‘s Negron’s Friday night statement: “Today there has been a news report alleging that members of the Senate Professional Staff and visitors to the Senate offices were sexually assaulted. These allegations are atrocious and horrendous. As Senate President, my first priority is the safety of our staff and visitors. I have ordered an immediate investigation of these allegations, which will be led by our Senate General Counsel Dawn Roberts. Ms. Roberts will work with our Human Resources Professional Staff in the Office of Legislative Services to ensure a full and fair investigation. I would request and encourage anyone with information regarding today’s report to confidentially come forward to the General Counsel’s Office, the President’s Office, or the Office of Legislative Services. The Senate has zero tolerance for sexual harassment, sexual assault, or misconduct of any kind and takes this issue with the utmost seriousness. Any allegation will be immediately and fully investigated.”
State Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, has been accused by six women who work in the Florida Capitol of sexual harassment and groping, according to a report published Friday afternoon by Politico.
None of the women allowed Politico to publish her name, the story says, because they all feared professional or personal retaliation.
In the report, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-FL, called Latvala, a 2018 candidate for governor, a “hound” and recounted an instance in which the Senate budget chair allegedly used his body to block a young female lobbyist from leaving a restaurant booth.
“Jack believes that his power as a legislator gives him some special power with women. And, there are times when it’s clearly unrequited,“ Gaetz told Politico.